Three Japanese evacuees from Wuhan have new coronavirus

TOKYO: Three Japanese evacuees from the Chinese city of Wuhan on a government-chartered flight have tested positive for a new strain of coronavirus, bringing the total confirmed cases in the country to 11, Japan’s health ministry said Thursday.

The three people, who have been hospitalized were among the 206 passengers who returned to Japan on Wednesday on the first evacuation flight from Wuhan, the epicenter of a deadly outbreak, officials from Health, Labor and Welfare Ministry told a press conference in Tokyo.

Of the three patients, a man in his 50s reported pain in his throat and later developed a fever before testing positive, while another man in his 40s and a woman in her 50s tested positive without showing any symptoms, according to the officials.

These are the first cases in Japan that infected persons without symptoms have been confirmed.

Speaking at a parliamentary committee, Prime Minister Shinzo Abe affirmed that the government will not hesitate to take necessary measures against the spread of infection.

“We will place top priority on protecting the lives and health of the people, and we will decide on what needs to be done without hesitation,” said Abe.

The second government-chartered flight from Wuhan arrived at Tokyo’s international airport on Thursday morning, bringing back 210 Japanese citizens, with at least 13 people having have symptoms, including fevers, the ministry said.

The Chinese government said Thursday that more than 7,700 confirmed cases of pneumonia caused by the virus, with the death toll risen to 170, including over 120 in Wuhan.

Outside China, there are now more than 100 confirmed infections across 14 countries, including Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, Vietnam, Macau, Hong Kong, Thailand, Germany, Finland and the US, according to a World Health Organization (WHO).

Source: Kuwait News Agency